De’Aaron Fox says Kings still have ‘something to play’

The Sacramento Kings have become almost impossible to watch this season. On January 10, they lost their fifth straight game to the Cleveland Cavaliers after De’Aaron Fox missed the kick-off to the buzzer, which would have completed a spirited comeback in the fourth quarter.

The once-electric young team are now slow, carefree and, honestly, a little depressing. However, Fox is not going to allow himself or his team to give up just yet.

“Obviously everyone here wants to be a playoff team and stuff like that,” Fox said after the Kings’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. “You certainly don’t let go of the rope no matter where you are in the season. We still have something to play and we can still make it happen.

Fox has been constantly criticized by fans and the media for his level of play this season. Last season, Fox played at an All-Star level, averaging 25 points per game, which is no small feat in the NBA.

This season, Fox is averaging just over 21 points per game – the same number of points as in 2019-20 – but he’s shooting a worse percentage in each category. The Fox crisis has worried Kings fans all season, but not his teammates.

Earlier this season, Tyrese Haliburton told media that Fox is doing fine and will be back to his senses in no time.

“It’s missing a few hits, but that’s part of it – we all go through these hunger pangs, it happens to everyone,” Haliburton said in November. “I think this is a bigger deal than it is. I am in no way concerned by this.

Looks like Haliburton was right.

Fox has scored 30 points three games in a row while shooting 52 percent from the field. He’s also averaged 5.7 assists in those three games.

He returned from league health and safety protocol on December 26 and looked very slow. In his first four return games, he averaged 12.5 points out of 35%. Fox has since regained his boast.

He plays like he wants to win.

“You’re just trying to do something that’s going to create a spark, whether it’s a stop, a block, or a theft, or something like that,” Fox said. “Just something to stop the bleeding.” One thing can tip a whole game up and run a few games in a row like that. It’s a long season, so you’re just trying to create some kind of energy. It’s not always offensive; it can be defensive and it can help everyone.

The same cannot be said of some of his teammates.

There is little room for optimism in the midst of yet another losing streak, but Fox, as the team’s leader, remains hopeful.

“We just lost four in a row; if we win four, five in a row, we’re in a whole different situation, ”Fox said on Sunday. You keep playing because we can control our own destiny for sure.

If Fox maintains his current demeanor and inspires the rest of the squad, maybe the Kings will become watchable again. Until then, King’s fandom is waiting for GM Monte McNair to finally do his job and shake things up before the trade deadline.

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